Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lesson 23: How To Jump In To The Whole Beekeeping Thing

Things are really busy ALREADY here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms! I feel like the butcher that backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. Wow! The beekeeping season takes off each year around this time, and accelerates rapidly all the way through November. But this year, there was never a let up. We're glad for that.

Sign up for one of our beginning beekeeping courses. It's a one day course at our honey bee farm. Click here for more information.

I know it's cold outside in most of the US, but take a look at this video below and enjoy what summer looks like. I took this of some of my hives during a strong nectar flow. Look at the girls coming and going! You might have to push play twice for it to run.

Good for you for being interested in beekeeping! I want to encourage all of our first time beekeepers to enjoy this first year. You'll make mistakes like we all do. You'll have great success and probably some failures in beekeeping. But keep your chin up and enjoy keeping bees.
I assume there are lots of folks who are sitting on the fence, wishing they were beekeepers, but making every excuse under the sun why they can't do it. Come on! Get off the fence and put some adventure in your life. Jump into beekeeping. Convince a buddy or girlfriend to start too! It's double the fun if you can keep bees with a friend. Better yet, why not involve the whole family. As you can see, you have a wealth of information here at your disposal. And you can always call us for advice and opinions. And we sell anything you might need to keep bees--EVEN THE BEES & Queens. Let's go!

Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we are committed to help you succeed at keeping bees.

We've helped all kinds of people get started in beekeeping from young people, to retired people, farmers, professors and even a plastic surgeon. Back in the day, it was difficult to learn beekeeping, especially if you did not have a mentor. Without the Internet and the tremendous research we now have, beekeeping was hit and miss back in the day.
Some of our new customers kept bees 30-40 years ago but gave it up back then and now want to get started again, but are threatened by how much beekeeping has changed. They fear they are too far removed from what's going on now. But, basic beekeeping really hasn't changed all that much. Sure, there are new pests, but we have found new ways to combat these pests.

Beekeepers are a resilient bunch, bouncing back and moving forward. And, I'm trusting our wonderful honey bee is even more resilient, and will thrive long into our future especially as more people like you begin to give them a safe and healthy place to prosper and grow. You can even treat them so good that you can water them like I do. In the video below, watch me pour water into the bird bath that they love so much. I was right in the middle of their heavy flight path, getting bump into, but they didn't sting me, just accidentally bumping into me trying to get a drink on a hot day. If you have your speakers on, it sounds like at the end, I say "ouch", but I actually said, "Wow!" because there were so many bees in the air and I didn't have a hat or veil. This was in the middle of about 20+ large hives.
If you are worried that you don't know how to install your bees when they arrive, then review my online lesson specifically written on Installing A Package Of Bees complete with pictures!
If you are concerned about bee sting reactions, review my lesson on bee stings.
You might be wondering if people will think you have lost your mind. But actually it is the opposite. When people discover you are a beekeeper, they will live out this hobby vicariously through you. They will respect your work and ask you to speak at schools, and special interest groups.
Hey, some people sit around and do cross word puzzles to keep their mind active. Why not study about beekeeping. The newspaper will probably want to do a story on you. Pollinators will be contacting you to see if they can rent some of your hives to pollinate their crops that are suffering without honey bees.
You'll find yourself intrigued and energized by keeping bees. Believe it or not, you'll want to read everything you can on keeping bees. And if you really get hooked, bees will be on your mind all the time.
Now is the right time for you to make the plunge and get going! Don't let others talk you out of it. You've always wanted to, now do it. Maybe your children are bored and wasting time on less productive things. Perhaps they might benefit from becoming beekeepers at a young age.
Let me summarize: We'll help you obtain all your equipment and supplies. We'll continue to educate you on how to keep bees through these lessons. We provide you with resources such as books or DVDs. We'll provide you with the bees and a queen sent right to your house. We'll take your calls or e-mails and answer your questions as best as we can to help mentor you along the way. My! What's keeping you from jumping in?
Those of you who have called in, know that we take time out of our busy day to spend as much time as we can answering your questions on the phone or through Email. And we know what we are talking about---atleast that's my opinion. I don't know if credentials are important to you and if they are, I'm a graduate of the Indiana Beekeeping School, a member of the Illiana Beekeeping Association, the Central Eastern Illinois Beekeeping Association, a member of the Indiana State Beekeepers Association and the Illinois State Beekeepers Association. We also regularly attend special workshops and conferences on beekeeping.
So believe me when I tell you that now is a great time to jump in to this whole beekeeping thing. Honey sales are strong, and honey is becoming more and more recognized for his remarkable health benefits. Our honey is always in big demand.
Now I know that you deal with some stress from time to time in your life. Some of you probably have been told that you need to de-stress your life. Let me tell you that beekeeping has been so relaxing for me. Wow! It is so therapeutic for me to just pull up a stump or a lawn chair and watch the girls fly in and out, busy working to bring me lots of honey. Seriously, it is a blast to sit out doors, listen to the birds and just enjoy watching the bees do their thing.
You're not alone. It's also fun to join your local beekeeping club and share thoughts and ideas. There are more beekeepers than you probably think. In my home state of Illinois, there are 18,821 beehives across Illinois! These 18,821 hives are kept by 1, 329 beekeepers. But here's why you need to keep bees, because in 1988, there were 37,025 hives in Illinois kept by 2,966 beekeepers. Read those statistics and I think you'll see what we are encouraging others to become beekeepers. We need honey bees kept by responsible beekeepers if we are to continue to enjoy fruits, vegetables and crops that are dear to our food supply.
There you go, so why not jump in today! Give us a call during our business hours between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central Time Monday - Friday. 217-427-2678. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
It's been nice being with you today.
In my next lesson, I'll be going over Spring Management Techniques for both newly installed packages and overwintered hives. These tips will help you have a great year! See you then...

And remember.... Bee-Have Yourself!

David & Sheri Burns